Windows of a Burning Heart

A mother grieving the loss of her son to war:  

war mother war poetry suzy kassem

 WINDOWS OF A BURNING HEART

Tormented by the flames of agony,
The woman pulled at her hair
And slapped her face a thousand times,
As streams of fire poured out of her eyes
And rolled down her cheeks
Like lava seeping from a volcano.

She screamed at Fate for taking her baby,
For bringing intruders to her door,
For dropping bombs from the skies,
For destroying hospitals and schools,
And for creating casualties of war
Out of innocent non-participants.

She howled alone in the dark,
But nobody could hear her,
For the wind outside was also mourning,
Sucking and blowing along the ash-ridden streets;
As it carried away the screams of
The souls of the dead,
And swept up all traces of their
Essence.

And when the wind pounded on her door
Telling her to let go of her baby,
So that it may take him along with the rest,
The woman’s voiced soared up to the Heavens,
As she relentlessly pounded her aching chest,
And plead to the angels to take her soul
instead.

The fire crackling through her eyes,
Grew higher and higher as
Her screams got longer and harder.
She tore off her nightgown,
Tore off her sandals,
Tore out her mind,
Until finally, God put his finger to her throat
To end her suffering.
Then the woman suddenly fell still,
But her heart continued to burn
Like a hot brick of coal;
It continued to glow
With the final blow of her last
Breath.

She was staring at her last tear
When her soul left her body.
And her eyes were wide and distant,
Reflecting two windows of a torn home
With two empty fireplaces,
A damaged portrait of two flames of life
Extinguished by war.

 

“Windows of a Burning Heart” by Suzy Kassem
Copyright 2008,
Suzy Kassem. All rights reserved.

 

Suzy Kassem Poetry for War Mothers

A son grieving the loss of his mother to war:    

LITTLE BOY WAR

He stands alone
On a vacant road,
Hands shaking from the cold.
His heart is aching from the untold.
Under his right arm
Is a tattered bag,
Which he holds tightly
As if it were filled with gold.
He’s just six,
Going on seven.
And it’s past ten,
Going on eleven.
He takes another toke
From his cowboy smoke,
And wishes he too
Could have died with his brother
And taken the ride to
Heaven.
His tummy rumbles and grumbles.
He feels faint and tries hard not to stumble.
His eyes scream with muted cries,
Too loud for his tired soul to conjure enough energy
To even mumble.
Little kid scared,
Alone in the middle of a war zone somewhere,
Past curfew and without a clue
As to what to do or to go where.
He is just standing there with
A shark’s glazed and
Lifeless stare.
And yet,
His eyes reveal a whirlpool of disaster,
Just another tragic kid
Who can’t help growing up any faster.
The streets are dark and it’s just him,
Standing in the shadow of a blinking ATM.
He now thinks of his worn mother,
And how she once took his torn shirt
And lovingly sewn its hem back together.
He never understood
Why she had always told him:
“Buckle your sandals!”
She used to call,
“Buckle them good
So you walk right and
Stand taller than them all!”
So why did he feel so small?
And why does he feel like he’s about to fall?
He kicks his little sandals
At the sand
Trying to understand
What Uncle Sam
And his freedom plan
Had done to his once beautiful land.
Babylon is crashing.
In front of him, memories are flashing –
Rubble, ash, blood, and dust,
An empire once fueled with beauty and gust
Now buried under artillery, bones, and rust.
In the corner of his eye,
He sees a tank suddenly appear
He tries to focus on its lights
Like a lost and rampant deer
Then that chilling electric sound
Cuts and pierces through his ears
The tank stops.
A lady emerges from its top,
And examines the boy and sneers.
She asks him what he is doing outside by himself
And warns him that there are now new rules
That all must adhere.
But Little Boy War
Glares without
A drip of fear.
He swings his precious bag high up in the air
And cries:
“I’m not alone!
Look!
My mother is in here!”
I watched from a distance
Then turn away to disappear
My heart felt like a cold rock
And I couldn’t control my tears.
Behind my back
And in my mind
The little boy’s
Words echo forever
So loud
And clear:
“In here and always near.
Her hands and heart are right here!”

 

 

“Little Boy War” by Suzy Kassem
Copyright 2008, Suzy Kassem. All rights reserved.


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